My Time Capsule: January 2012


Russia: Nervous at the Crossing Border

Russia, September 2010

While I was enjoying the moving scenery through train window on the journey from Helsinki to St. Petersburg, I heard an announcement that we were about to reach Finnish border. Thus cafeteria would closed and all toilets would be locked. We were told to remain seated and get our passport ready. I was quite nervous because I've heard not-so-pleasant stories about the immigration process.

The train started to slow down and stopped. Some immigration officers boarded to our train followed by 2 custom officers and their drug-sniffing dogs. Then the train continued to roll slowly while those officers worked their way through our train. By the time we reached the border, those officers and sniffer dogs all left the train.

After that the train continued the journey for about 5 minutes before stopped at a small station. We were officially in Russia by then. The immigration Russian officers arrived to check our passport and visa. We were relieved when they left the train, everything went very smooth. St. Petersburgh, here we come!

Finally arriving in Russia.....yeah that's the pile of our luggage :p

Peter and Paul Fortress was the first place on our itinerary to visit in St. Petersburgh. We went into Peter and Paul cathedral with its splendid interior. It's the burial place of all Russian Tsars from Peter I to Alexander III. After exploring for about an hour or so, we headed to city centre. We decided to join the canal cruise before having dinner and back to our hotel.

Peter and Paul Fortress

splendid interior

cruising the canal in St. Petersburg

The next morning after breakfast, we made our way to Petrodvorets where Peterhof Grand Palace is.
It's sometimes called the Russian Versailles and recognised as UNESCO World Heritage Site.
When I got there, despite the rain and gloomy skies, I was in awe because this palace has amazingly beautiful garden and fountain.

Peterhof Grand Palace

beautiful details in Peterhof


matching top with the statues :p
Before lunch, we managed to visit St. Isaac's Cathedral, the largest Russian orthodox cathedral in the city.
The cathedral's dome rises 101.5 metres  and is plated with pure gold also decorated with twelve statues of angels. The interior was originally decorated with scores of paintings by some great Russian masters of the day.

St. Isaac's Cathedral

the interior of St' Isaac's Cathedral

St. Isaac's Cathedral from afar

St. Petersburg the bustling city

In the afternoon we visited Hermitage museum, it's one of the largest and oldest museum in the world founded in 1764. The collection includes more than three million works of art and artifacts of the world culture. Among them are paintings, graphic works, sculptures and works of applied art, archaeological finds and numismatic material.

After dinner the tour guide took us for a city tour and made some stops to take picture of some iconic buildings and souvenir shopping.
St. Petersburg is a very beautiful city that I'd like to re-visit one day.

Hermitage museum

Crouching Boy by Michelangelo

St. Petersburg

the gala diner

Church of our Saviour on Spilled Blood

dusk in St. Petersburg

flying Aeroflot to Moscow

Next morning we arrived in the domestic airport around 7 to fly to our next destination.....Moscow.


Finland: the United Buddy Bears

Finland, September 2010

Finally our ferry docked at Helsinki ferry port in the morning. The weather was getting colder compared to Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

see you again Silja Line :)

Helsinki ferry port

After loading up our luggages on the coach, we visited Uspenski Cathedral which is only 15 minutes away from the ferry port. It is the largest Orthodox church in western Europe and was built between 1862 and 1868.
The exterior is deep-red brick walls and green-and-gold onion domes.There are 13 onion domes in all, representing Christ and the twelve apostles.

Uspenski Orthodox Cathedral

pretty red brick walls
From there we went to Senate Square to visit St. Nicholas Cathedral. I was lucky because the United Buddy Bears exhibition was held there. Here are some informations I copied from Buddy Bear website

Under this motto, the UNITED BUDDY BEARS promote living together in peace and harmony on their global tour. Around 140 Buddy Bears (each 2 m tall) represent as many countries recognised by the United Nations.
Since the first exhibition in Berlin in 2002, more than 25 million visitors world-wide have been able to admire the United Buddy Bears.
Art and Culture: Each Buddy Bear shows the individual design created by different artists on behalf of their native countries. The international artists’ different styles are joined together in one work of art, spreading zest for life. The diverse design of the Buddy Bears – always typical for the respective countries – enables the visitors to experience a journey around the globe.

The Message: The Buddy Bears stand together “hand in hand”, symbolising the future vision of a peaceful world. Each bear stands for the people of the different countries and their culture, yet not for political systems.

Charity: Buddy Bear activities and aid for children in need have formed an inseparable unit. To date, around €1,800,000 (November 2011) have been raised through donations and auctions in aid of UNICEF and local children’s relief organisations. 

Senate Square

St. Nicholas the Lutheran Cathedral

pretty colourful bears

each bear represents different country

Before heading to our hotel, we managed to visit the Rock Church and Sibelius monument. Both are quite popular attraction in Helsinki.

Temppeliaukio Kirkko (Rock Church) has a ceiling made of copper wire

Sibelius Monument

It was built to honour Finland’s national composer Jean Sibelius (1865-1957)

downtown Helsinki

Helsinki city tram

Rautatieasema train station

the train platform

The next morning we woke up very early to catch the 7 o'clock train to St. Petersburg, Russia. I was quite enjoy the 6 hours trip, just a little bit nervous about the Russian border. I've been told that sometimes it can be tough and troublesome :(
I went to train cafeteria to get some breakfast and kept hoping that I wouldn't face any problems in the border......


Happy Chinese New Year !

Happy Chinese New Year. It's the dragon year. May it bring you good luck, fortune and lots of happiness.......

 How many red pockets did you get ? :D


Review: Dim Sum in Feyloon Restaurant

There are some restaurants in Bali that serves Hong Kong style dim sum. I chose Feyloon Restaurant in Kuta area. It seems very popular since it is frequently visited by lots of tourists.
These are some items that I ordered.......

Crispy Seafood

Shrimp Dumpling

BBQ Pork Bun

Steamed Chicken Claw in Black Bean Sauce

Seafood in Bean Curd Sheet

Steamed Shrimp Dumpling

Fried Durian
Overall the food was yummy. I really like the fried durian which is very creamy but not too sweet. The price was not cheap but I think it's worth it though. I would definitely come back to try other menus.
What's your favourite dim sum menu ?


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